Love seeks our wholeness

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To ask that God’s love
should be content with us
as we are is to ask that God
should cease to be God.

–C. S. Lewis

Published in: on 03/02/2016 at 7:19  Leave a Comment  
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Daring to believe it

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It is not a matter 
of arrogance . . . but faith 
when we celebrate: 
we are accepted!

–St. Ambrose
(337 – 397)

Extravagant acceptance

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In light of our own profound need, brokenness, unsettledness, and immaturity, God is not with anxiety or anger fretting until we get our act together. He is not scowling waiting for us to “get fixed,” despising us until we arrive at an unattainable standard of perfection. We want to be “fixed” (and soon) in order to gain acceptance, whether from peers, leaders, God or ourself.

God wants to walk with us,
to know us, to be known by us,
to love us – right where we are.

And in the journey of walking with him in love, we will find ourselves transformed, not in order to be accepted, but transformed precisely by his extravagant acceptance, unremitting love and indescribable tenderness. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

 –Richard Liantonio 

The courage to believe it

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Faith is the courage to accept acceptance,
to accept that God loves me as I am
and not as I should be…

–Paul Tillich (1886 – 1965)

Experiencing grace

Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life. It strikes us when we feel that our separation is deeper than usual, because we have violated another life, a life which we loved, or from which we were estranged. It strikes us when our disgust for our own being, our indifference, our weakness, our hostility, and our lack of direction and composure have become intolerable to us. It strikes us when, year after year, the longed-for perfection of life does not appear, when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage.

Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying: “You are accepted. You are accepted… Do not try to do anything now; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek for anything; do not perform anything; do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted!” If that happens to us, we experience grace.

–Paul Tillich
(1886 – 1965)

Photo: Joey Chandler

Published in: on 11/19/2012 at 9:19  Comments (1)  
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Perichoresis

Genuine acceptance removes fear and hiding, and creates freedom to know and be known. In this freedom arises a fellowship and sharing so honest and open and real that the persons involved dwell in one another. There is union without the loss of individual identity. When one weeps, the other tastes salt. It is only in the Triune relationship of Father, Son and Spirit that personal relationship of this order exists, and the early Church used the word “perichoresis” to describe it. The good news is that Jesus Christ has drawn us within this relationship, and its fullness and life are to be played out in each of us and in all creation.

–Baxter Kruger

Unconditional love

We often confuse unconditional love with unconditional approval. God loves us without conditions but does not approve of every human behavior. God doesn’t approve of betrayal, violence, hatred, suspicion, and all other expressions of evil, because they all contradict the love God wants to instill in the human heart. Evil is the absence of God’s love. Evil does not belong to God.

God’s unconditional love means that God continues to love us even when we say or think evil things. God continues to wait for us as a loving parent waits for the return of a lost child. It is important for us to hold on to the truth that God never gives up loving us even when God is saddened by what we do. That truth will help us to return to God’s ever-present love.

–Henri Nouwen

Published in: on 02/12/2012 at 20:45  Leave a Comment  
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